January recap

Races: Little Woods trail race and the Frozen Feet half marathon, both of which have their own race reports.

Frozen feet half
Frozen Feet
I also went to an orienteering meet at Babler State Park and managed to clear the red (most difficult) course with time to spare. That was a particularly good feeling because Babler was the site of my first (disastrous) attempt at orienteering solo.

My favorite control location
Training: This year I set both mileage goals (for bike and on foot) and time goals (for strength training and yoga). I did the same thing last year and fell pitifully short, but over Christmas break I got a new smart trainer (thanks, Christine!). That, in combination with Zwift, has contributed to me logging about twice my typical January bike mileage. Since this trainer can adjust resistance to simulate hills and Zwift has a number of available workouts, my indoor rides feature a lot more intensity than in the past.
  • Bike goal: 5,000 miles. January mileage - 330 (6%)
  • Foot goal: 500 miles. January mileage - 51.1 (10%)
  • Strength training goal: 50 hours (basically an hour a week, not counting the first two weeks of Jan. before I set the goal). January hours - 1:07 (2%...ouch)
  • Yoga goal: 26 hours. January hours - 1:36 (6%)
With Tour Divide creeping ever closer (2.5 years!), I'm feeling the pressure to add mileage (and hills! And get some actual bikepacking experience!), but it's important to me to still maintain some semblance of running ability. I'm hoping that some regular yoga will help return some flexibility to my increasingly stiff body. The strength training goal is the one that feels the most counterproductive. I love getting stronger and the way I feel after I've lifted weights, but if I lift too close to a bike ride, my legs are fried. That makes fitting in all the workouts challenging.

All the weather: Temperatures ranged from -2 just before the start of the Little Woods race to the mid 60's on one Sunday gravel ride.


Recipes: I got an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker for Christmas, and it's added some spark back into my relationship with the kitchen. I love to eat, don't mind cooking, and hate having to come up with all of the meal ideas. Having a new toy has been fun, and I've made probably ten new recipes since Christmas. Some favorites: loaded baked potato soup, Mongolian chicken, stuffed pepper soup, and beef stew.

Books: The Passenger (really enjoyed it), Behind Closed Doors (awful), The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon (liked it, didn't love it).

Family: We're planning a vacation out west, which will certainly involve hiking, this summer. That's given Jeff and Jacob a little more motivation to done some training of their own. Towards the end of the month we hit Don Robinson State Park, one of the newer state parks in Missouri, for an afternoon hike.
Don Robinson SP
Adding a friend to the mix always makes the kid (who somehow is now my height) more cooperative.
 Such a beautiful park! We hiked into and along a sandstone canyon on a four-mile loop trail that would be a great place to run. I would have loved to explore along the other trail, but daylight and my 14 year old were fading. I can't wait to go back.

What's up for February: There's an orienteering meet at Meramec State Park, a possibility of bikepacking, and maybe I'll do the Rocheport Roubaix again. Other than that, lots more miles on the bike as I prep for May's Coast to Coast gravel race.


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